First week with the Tesla Roadster

Chris Paine directed "Who Killed the Electric Car?” His new project is “Revenge of the Electric Car,” a documentary film and multimedia blog now in production. The film is slated for theaters in 2010.

When “Who Killed the Electric Car” premiered at Sundance in 2006, it surprised viewers with an exposé of what happened to California’s expansive electric car program of the 1990s. Almost every major automaker built state-of-the-art highway speed EVs. Only a few years later, they destroyed them.

General Motors’ revolutionary EV1 became the poster-child for the story. The film, picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, won awards around the world for its exploration of how car makers, oil companies, government and even consumers stopped the future in its tracks -- for a while, anyway.

Besides doing extensive research on EVs, Chris has spent significant time behind the wheel. He drove an EV1 from 1997 to 2003, until his leased car was confiscated. Since then he has been driving a Toyota RAV4 EV, a rare all-electric SUV that he managed to purchase.

The last few seconds of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” included a glimpse of the first Tesla ever built. After filming that scene, Chris put down a deposit on the Roadster in October 2006. Last month he added his own Tesla Roadster, No. 23, to his garage.

Driving the Roadster recalls his EV1 days – but with a twist.

“The car is lightning fast -- an instant throwback to the purr of the EV1 electric car -- only this time there is almost universal agreement that the car is damn sexy,” he writes. You may read the entire post – including an escapade with LA’s finest and an interview with a Croatian TV crew here.

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Comments

claude

I'm excited for this movie. I really enjoyed how at the end of the last one he already promised it. The Tesla Roadster is pretty amazing, not that I'm ever going to be able to afford it, but because of the change it promises for the entire industry. It's inspiring news for the auto industry which has been living if it is housed in a funeral pyre these last few months. I found an interesting discussion on the roadster and electric cars in general at pandalous. It's here: http://www.pandalous.com/nodes/the_eventual_rise_of_the

Thomas Claridge

Dear Sirs, I reading your paragraph on Chris Paine(Dir: Who Killed the Electric Car) I would think that you Tesla Motors of all the people in this world would be the ones to recognise that what "Killed the Electric Car" as explained in a long letter to the Editor Automotive News by the chief engineer on the GM EV-1 was that the car was designed before the battery was available and GM was depending on battery technology to catch up to them and the car which it did not. As you know well battery technology is just NOW approaching being ready for an electric car that has sufficient perfomance and range to be MARKETABLE! The EV-1 was readily available on a restricted lease at a huge loss to GM on each car and yet they sold perhaps 650 cars in 3-4 years time. And by the way Chris Paines car was not "confiscated" implying some over overbearing government TAKING the car from Paine but rather the CONTRACT Mr. Paine signed required the RETURN of the car to GM as terms of the lease. As a person in the car business owning dealerships for among others Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Rolls Royce and Bentley and having managed stores for Buick and GMC trucks for 35 years I hope you are successful and able to compete as the business benefits from all new ideas that work. Best of luck to you. Tom Claridge Pres. Claridge's Ltd. Santa Clara, CA

Arno

i watch your movies “Who Killed the Electric Car?” on HBO Indonesia twice yesterday , and still amazed by it . Good work Chris !, you've kick their ass ! :D